Kim Jong-Un sure looks happy with his MacBook Pro

Apple has a large number of high-profile fans, but there are always bound to be one or two less desirable (but equally famous) ones who slip through the cracks. One of these is North Korea’s super villain dictator Kim Jong-un, who apparently is quite the Apple fan — as evidenced by a recent photo posted […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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London Mayor Boris Johnson Asked Apple to Help Build Garden Bridge

London Mayor Boris Johnson tried to convince Apple to fund the UK capital’s project to build a „Garden Bridge“ across the River Thames, as reported by Business Insider.

The report cites an article published today in The Architects’ Journal which details how Johnson secretly travelled to California in early 2013 to meet Apple executives and pitch the ambitious project, before he had received official backing for the scheme from his office.

Proposed design for Garden Bridge over the River Thames (Image: Arup)

Apple is well known for its intense interest in architectural design and its close attention to detail when planning and building its retail stores. However, it has little history of funding projects unrelated to its technology business, making Johnson’s attempts to woo the company seem ill-judged.

In a statement given to The Architect’s Journal, the London Mayor’s office confirmed a meeting indeed took place with Apple to discuss „investment opportunities in London.“ However, Apple informed the publication that the company has „no involvement in this bridge project and is not considering getting involved.“

Tag: United Kingdom
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Elon Musk Says Apple’s Electric Car Project is an ‘Open Secret’

In an interview with the BBC, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said it is an „open secret“ that Apple is developing an electric car. Musk made the statement when asked if he had heard anything about Apple’s car development plans and went on to highlight the huge number of hires Apple has made as evidence.

„Well, it’s pretty hard to hide something if you hire over a thousand engineers to do it,“ he said, before adding that he believed Apple was serious about the project. „This is an open secret.“

Musk went on to say Tesla welcomes participation by any company that wants to create electric vehicles, but he cautioned that it’s „quite hard to do.“ He brushed off the interviewer’s question of whether an Apple car would be a threat to Tesla, and said that he believes Apple will develop a „compelling“ electric car because „it seems like the obvious thing to do.“

„Tesla will still aspire to make the most compelling electric vehicles, and that would be our goal, while at the same helping other companies to make electric cars as well.“

Musk is aware of Apple’s hiring efforts because Apple has made an effort to hire former Tesla employees for its car project. The two companies have developed something of a rivalry as they compete for talent, leading Musk to take a jab at Apple in an October interview, saying „If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple,“ a statement he later retracted.

The first rumors surrounding Apple’s car project, allegedly codenamed „Project Titan,“ surfaced in early 2015. Since then, Apple has recruited dozens of engineers and researchers from the automotive industry and other car-related fields, poaching employees from companies like Tesla, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Samsung, and more.

Over the past few months, there’s been a growing body of evidence pointing towards work on a car. Apple sought out a secure testing facility for testing electric vehicles in May of 2015, and met with DMV officials to discuss the laws and regulations surrounding self-driving vehicles in California in September. Most recently, Apple registered three auto-related top-level domain names, including apple.car, apple.cars, and apple.auto.

Little is known about Apple’s car project, but the company is rumored to be working on an electric vehicle. Rumors have disagreed on the topic of autonomy, but the most recent information suggests that while Apple is exploring self-driving technology, it is a feature that may come in a later version of the Apple Car.

Related Roundup: Apple Car
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Apple Shares Master List of CarPlay Vehicles Available Worldwide

Apple has published an official master list of CarPlay vehicles available in the U.S. and other countries. The list contains over 100 new 2016 and 2017 models from 21 auto manufacturers, including Audi, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Citroën, DS Automobiles, Ferrari, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Opel, Porsche, Peugeot, Seat, Škoda, Suzuki, Volkswagen and Volvo.

CarPlay provides hands-free or eyes-free access to Maps, Phone, Messages, Music, Podcasts and third-party apps including Spotify, Rdio, iHeartRadio, CBS Radio and MLB At Bat. The platform uses Siri and interfaces with your vehicle’s knobs, dials and buttons for safer access to common iPhone features. The software is compatible with iPhone 5 or later running iOS 8 or above.

Apple CarPlay Vehicles

Audi

2017 Q7

2017 A4

Buick

2016 LaCrosse

2016 Regal

Cadillac

2016 ATS

2016 ATS Coupe

2016 ATS-V

2016 ELR

2016 CTS

2016 CTS-V

2016 XTS

2016 Escalade

2016 Escalade ESV

2016 CT6

Chevrolet

2016 Spark

2016 Cruze

2016 Malibu

2016 Camaro

2016 Camaro Convertible

2016 Silverado

2016 Silverado HD

2016 Impala

2016 Volt

2016 Corvette

2016 Corvette Convertible

2016 Colorado

2016 Tahoe

2016 Suburban

Citroën

2016 C3

2016 C4

2016 C5

2016 Berlingo Multispace

DS Automobiles

2016 DS 3

2016 DS 3 Cabrio

2016 DS 4

2016 DS 5

Ferrari

2016 California T

2016 488 Spider

2016 488 GTB

2016 F12 Berlinetta

2016 F12 tdf

2016 FF

Ford

2017 Ford Escape

GMC

2016 Canyon

2016 Yukon

2016 Yukon XL

2016 Sierra

Honda

2016 Accord

2016 Civic

2017 NSX

Hyundai

2016 Sonata

2017 Elantra

Mercedes

2016 A-Class

2016 B-Class

2016 GLE-Class

2016 CLA-Class

2016 CLS-Class

2016 E-Class Coupe

2016 E-Class Cabriolet

2016 GLA-Class

Mitsubishi

2016 Pajero

2017 Mirage

Opel

2016 Adam

2016 KARL

2016 Corsa

2016 Astra

2016 Insignia

Porsche

2016 911

2017 Macan

Peugeot

2016 208

2016 Partner Teepe

Seat

2016 Ibiza

2016 Leon

2016 Toledo

2016 Alhambra

Škoda

2016 Superb

2016 Fabia

2016 Rapid

2016 Octavia

2016 Yeti

Suzuki

2016 Baleno

2016 Vitara

2016 SX4 S-CROSS

2016 Ciaz

Volkswagen

2016 Jetta

2016 Passat

2016 CC

2016 Beetle

2016 Beetle Cabrio

2016 Golf

2016 GTI

2016 Golf R

2016 e-Golf

2016 Tiguan

2016 Golf SportWagen

2016 Fox

2016 Polo

2016 Scirocco

2016 Sharan

2016 Spacefox

2016 Touran

2016 Lamando

Volvo

2016 XC90

2017 S90

Starting with iOS 9.3, CarPlay will support the New and For You sections in Apple Music along with a Nearby feature in Maps for discovering the best local restaurants, coffee shops and more.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
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New smart devices store lets you try tomorrow’s hardware today

b8ta, a company started by several ex-Nest employees, announced today that they are launching a brick-and-mortar retail store, dedicated to selling Internet of Things connected devices. “Right now, consumer desire for innovative products is booming, and there’s never been a better time to be a maker,” said Vibhu Norby, CEO of b8ta. “However, most new […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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The Best and Worst Things to Buy in December

December is a month when most people can’t avoid shopping. You may have skipped Black Friday, but the holiday season is a different beast altogether, with gifts from loved ones, friends, and people you barely know coming at you from all angles. Maintain lots of holiday cheer by shopping wisely with our December buying guide. […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple won’t have to compensate retail employees for waiting in line

Apple won’t have to stump up the cash for back-paying thousands of current and former employees at Apple Stores across California, according to the ruling of a federal judge. The lawsuit was brought against Apple in 2013 by two former retail employees — claiming that Apple’s policy of mandatory bag searches after work had cost them dozens […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple’s Culture of Secrecy Slowing its Artificial Intelligence Development

Apple’s strict adherence to an environment of secrecy and privacy in regards to its software and hardware development has been suggested as a major blow to the company’s potential for growth in the field of artificial intelligence. In a new article by Bloomberg, Apple was noted as a non-attendee at the Neural Information Processing Systems conference, an annual confluence of companies including Google and Microsoft where researches get together to discuss the progress and development of AI technologies.

In years past, Apple has attended the conference, but its emissaries were known to keep „a low profile“ during the proceedings. In the midst of a mass sharing and celebration of discoveries and findings in the world of AI, many remain unsure of the Cupertino company’s continued success in such departments if it remains attached to such strict secrecy rules. “They’re completely out of the loop,“ said Richard Zemel, a professor in the computer science department at the University of Toronto.

The biggest threat posed to Apple due to this level of secrecy, according to Trevor Darrell, managing director of a machine-learning research center at the University of California at Berkeley, is the barrier to entry it creates for graduate students fresh out of college. The stagnant environment and closed-off atmosphere inhibits the company’s employees from interacting with the rest of the scientific community, an issue that most potential hires may not be entirely comfortable with.

“There’s no way they can just observe and not be part of the community and take advantage of what is going on,” says Yoshua Bengio, a professor of computer science at the University of Montreal. “I believe if they don’t change their attitude, they will stay behind.”

“The really strong people don’t want to go into a closed environment where it’s all secret,” Bengio says. “The differentiating factors are, ‘Who are you going to be working with?’ ‘Am I going to stay a part of the scientific community?’ ‘How much freedom will I have?’”

Earlier in the month, Apple acquired two artificial intelligence-related start-ups: VocalIQ and Perceptio. VocalIQ’s natural language API hints at a more naturalistic version of Siri in the future, and even possible integration into the rumored Apple car project. Perceptio suggests the possibility of a more expansive and robust AI system for Apple, without the compromise of the company’s in-depth privacy policies that pull Siri back from services like Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana.

All the same, Bloomberg‘s story suggests that despite Apple’s enthusiasm to innovate in the artificial intelligence sector, the company could continue to lag behind in certain departments – Apple Maps, for example – due to its stances on secrecy and privacy.

Tag: Siri
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